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Wednesday, July 30, 2014

A Carpetbagger in New York

Now, I did not move to the South until I was 19 years old, but make no mistake about it, I am not accustomed to big cities.  I grew up in a small town in Northern Indiana, rarely venturing into the scary metropolis that is Chicago.  My whole life I have been firmly rooted in flyover country.  I never had that strong a desire to live otherwise.  I was always content with roaming back country roads and traveling to rural outposts.

A few years back my brother moved moved to New York and my father suggested we all take a trip out to the city.  Reluctant at first, I felt it was my duty as an American to see this place that appears in every TV show and movie.

Of course, I am always looking for interesting roadside attractions to see.  When I found out I was going to New York, I decided my goal would be to track down a legendary folk hero and attraction:  The Legendary Naked Cowboy.  A man who has made a legend of himself by playing guitar in his underwear in the middle of Time Square.  Essentially the world's most famous street performer.

Stepping into Time Square for the first time was practically a religious experience.  The place was loud, ridiculous, tacky and overstimulating.  My idea of heaven.

The streets were crawling with street performers.  From your traditional silver men......

To the more rare Gold Man....

Then there was an army of unlicensed characters posing for pictures in exchange for cash.....

And a surprisingly large amount of people openly begging for drug money.......

And I must say, when it comes to religious fanatics, the Bible Belt has NOTHING on time Square.

Anyone want to explain to me what that guy is talking about?

These guys are Black Hebrew Israelites, who believe that blacks are the true Jewish people and that the people are traditional regarded as Jewish are imposters.

I weaved through these magical characters, with my father and brothers desperately trying not to loose me.  I was hoping with my all my might to find the legendary Naked Cowboy, but I was coming up empty handed.   I did mange to locate a naked Indian.

And then we stumbled upon this....

It was a Naked Cowgirl, so maybe we were getting warmer.

Meet Sandy Kane, the Naked Cowgirl.  She is actually a nemesis to the Naked Cowboy who sued her for copyright infringement.  He also opposes her crass and non-family friendly nature.  When a guy who dances in his underwear for money thinks you are not family friendly, you are hardcore.  Of course that didn't stop me and Little Satan from having our picture taken with her.

She appeared to be fascinated with Little Satan, and used some disturbing language (that I will not repeat) to describe him.

I promise that will be the last photo of Sandy Kane.

I had admit defeat and reluctantly leave time square.  After sterilizing Little Satan, we headed off to see some of the other famous sites in New York. 

Such as the World Famous "People with AIDS Plaza"

The Stone Head from "Night at the Museum" that says "Give me gum gum, dumb dumb"......

And the statue of Balto the Wonder Dog.....

Of course I proved my dedication to being a tourist by having my picture taken riding Balto......

And of course what would a trip to the Big Apple be without seeing the Wall Street Bull.....

If you take notice, there are actually two lines the form at the Bull for tourist photo ops.  One at the head of the Bull, and the other, longer line at the rear of the Bull....

Apparently it is some sort of New York right of passage to have your photo taken touching the Bull's testicles.....

It turns out that I loved New York.  As much as I was dedicated to documenting and appreciating the South, New York is a great place for a man such as me who requires non-stop stimulation and excitement.

After our week long trip, we took one last quite walk through the night streets of Time Square, and who should appear.......

The Naked Cowboy!  Putting his hands all over female tourists.  Finally, my New York trip was complete.

As a side note, I later found out that this was not the original Naked Cowboy, but a Franchisee.  Apparently, the original Naked Cowboy was in such demand that he actually became a personal Franchise and has allowed other Cowboys and Cowgirls to pay for the right to take up his mantel and perform in his stead.

With all this excitement there was only thing left in New York to do.   One thing I always wanted to try.  Before our plane left we headed to the top of the Empire state building.

Look out below!

Disclaimer:  New York was not harmed in the making of this blog.

The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to email me at
And don't forget to check out my Flickr Photostream and my Youtube Page.  You can also follow me on instagram

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Goats on the Roof

We see the roadside tourist attraction as a thing of the bygone era.  The ones that exist are seen as charming bits of nostalgia.  It is true that most tourist attractions have been around for awhile, and it is rare that a new one manifests in modern times.  So, it is truly magnificent when a brand shiny new roadside attraction appears on the American Roadside.  

From the tourist highway of 411in the town of Tiger, GA shines a glimmering promise.


Who could avoid pulling over for this?

Welcome to Goats on the Roof.  With a name like that, how could you go wrong?  On the inside Goats on the roof is your standards country store, with fudge, souvenirs, ice cream and gem mining.  
However, when you look up on top, this is where Goats on the Roof truly lives up to its name.

You see, Goats on the Roof has Goats on their roof!

Over the years Goats on the roof has improved upon their design creating elaborate sky walks over their parking lot to allow the Goats to travel over top the tourists.

Of course, Goats have to eat and it is up to travelers to make sure that these goats get their feed through a series of strange contraptions.

 Here is your standard ground-to-roof Goat feeder.

Just put the food in the can and turn the crank and it raises the food to the roof to the hungry Goat.


And then we have this:  a bicycle powered food delivery system....

One must peddle furiously, moving the can of goat chow.....

As the impatient goats beg from high above....

Allow my daughter to demonstrate.....

As for the explanation on what is going on here, here is the attraction's official statement.  

You got all that?

Other touristy goodness about includes, head-in-the-hole photo ops, where you can pretend to be a goat....

Or a moonshiner's dog....

They also have an animatronic hillbilly fortune teller known as "The Goat Whisperer".

Not only is the charming tourist trap remaining popular, but it has actually become a roadside franchise.  After the success of the original attraction in Tiger, GA two other locations have popped up in the faux Bavarian Town of Helen, GA and the ultimate southern tourist mecca of Pigeon Forge, TN.

The Carpetbagger

Please feel free to email me at
And don't forget to check out my Flickr Photostream and my Youtube Page.  You can also follow me on instagram